Monday, June 22, 2009

Charles "Chick" Evans

Primary patron of Willie Anderson's family, Charles "Chick" Evans

Charles "Chick" Evans
And Atlantic City Country Club

Chapter 19 of Birth of the Birdie

Leo Fraser, in the course of his life in golf, knew many great players, but of them all, he concluded, "I caddied for him and I can't imagine anyone being a better golfer than Chick Evans, and I've seen them all."

Harry Vardon also named Evans as the best amateur he played in America.

In 1916 Evans won the U.S. Open, using only seven hickory-shafted clubs, then won the U.S. Amateur Championship, a more significant tournament at the time and one which included a fourteen year old Bobby Jones.

After winning both he came to Atlantic City to play an exhibition with Clarence Hackney.

In an article in the 1946 Sonny Fraser program Evans wrote:

"Visiting the Atlantic City Country Club was a dream of my boyhood and like many another dream it came true. I have seen this course of history several times, once when I was named national champion."

"When in Atlantic City I played golf with and stayed at the home of Mr. Henry McSweeney. I seemed to learn most about Atlantic City Country Club from this fatherly man in whose house I often found lodging when in Atlantic City. Sometimes we walked around the old club house in the long twilight after dinner and sometimes we went down a few miles or so to the sea and there we talked while the water rolled softly to the sandy shore."

"I learned from him that golf is played at Atlantic City Country Club from January to December on regular greens without Winter covering in the most equable temperature in the United States, and with plenty of sunshine, but I must confess I saw little sunshine when I was there."

"Atlantic City Country Club is one of the oldest clubs in the United States, having been established in 1897. When you play on the course where golf was played for so many years, you feel that every yard is enshrined with the memories of golfers. There can be seen the sweeping galleries of the National Amateur Championship which was held there, and the outstanding figures of the game. All of the golf seems before you and your thoughts dwell upon Chandler Egan, who was one of the most peculiarly beloved golfers in America, and travel on to other golfers and other tournaments."

"My love for Atlantic City Country Club is as simple as a matter of colors. I have always loved gray; women like my mother whom I have loved have worn it beautifully, and Atlantic City, as I've seen it, is always one shade of gray or another and sometimes several. It is the light mist from the sea that gives its color and name to this old gray spot in New Jersey and the vigorous life to its inhabitants."

"My first round of golf at this famous club was a disapointment for I had expected too much; but from then on my enjoyment and interest grew enormously. When one is completely enveloped in the golfing atmosphere, has wandered over the course and has talked with many golfers, then the actual Atlantic City Country Club feeling is his."

"I think that every entry in the Sonny Fraser Tournament will see the trophy cup as an expression to his national memory and will envision Sonny as a loving, great man and great golfer, sitting in his quiet way beside this great course."

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